I don't know how these things happen. One minute someone was saying everyone who wants to be president of the University Heights Association board step forward...  and everyone else stepped back. 

 

        And there I was.

 

Let me tell you a little bit about the University Heights Association and how I got involved.  From the website:

The University Heights Association (UHA) is a volunteer neighborhood organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The UHA is made up of people living, owning property, and working in the area bounded by Central Avenue on the North, Yale Blvd on the West, Garfield Avenue on the South, and Girard Blvd on the East. LEARN MORE-->

Two years ago when I received a notice of the annual meeting I decided to check it out, learn about this neighborhood I had moved to. I figured it would be a good place to complain about things like traffic and lack of respect for pedestrians.  I thought I'd meet some of my neighbors.  And I was right.  And then I was asked to put my "money" where my mouth was, and join the board (there is no charge to join the board, just a willingness to come to meetings and share your thoughts).  I was happy to do so because I thought it would be a good way to be part of the solution; I wanted to participate in the change, not just complain.

And now I find myself president.  Fortunately I have a great group of people on the board, several who have lived in and participated in the neighborhood for many many years. 

One of my personal initiatives as president is to involve more neighbors.  I realize this is a challenge because our neighborhood is quite transient, but even if you're only living here for a couple of years, participating is a great way to get to know fellow neighbors.  Participating is also a great way to learn about how the city government works.  Currently we are only a nine- member board; our resources are limited.  Between us we can only attend, and represent the neighborhood at, so many city meetings for things like crime and safety, or the Lead/Coal task force.  You don't need to be on the board to participate!

As president this year I will try to regularly update folks here on DCF.  I'll also post meeting information:  we meet the 2nd Thursdays of the month at 7pm.  At each meeting we have an open forum for items that didn't make the agenda and for visitors to introduce themselves and/or bring up concerns or questions they have about the neighborhood goings-on.  

Our next meeting is 7p.m. Thursday, February 9 at 120 Vassar SE. Please let me know if you want to attend-- we have been meeting in the smaller conference room, but when we have a larger group we move to a larger room.

Aside from the regular business on the agenda we will be looking at a proposal from a potential buyer of the 202 Silver Cornell Dr. SE nee Gilchrist property. One of the duties of the neighborhood associations is to make recommendations regarding zoning to the city, and especially represent the neighborhood in zoning decisions.

We also update our website at http://www.uhanm.org/ where you can sign up for our electronic mailing list.  

ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE:  

The Council District 3 position on the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund Committee is currently vacant.  Information about this committee is available at
http://mesa.cabq.gov/87257081006feb4f/indexboards/f1dd9de090d500898...

The Urban Enhancement Trust Fund (UETF) is a public endowment created by the Albuquerque City Council in 1983 to fund both capital and cultural projects.  In 2004, the City Council amended the ordinance to provide that all funds available from the endowment should be directed to cultural projects.  The Citizens' Committee participates in the decision making for awarding of grants.
Find out more: http://www.cabq.gov/urban-enhancement-trust-fund

District 3 residents who are interested in serving on this committee are asked to provide a resume and brief letter of introduction/interest for Councilor Benton's consideration by Friday, February 17, 2012.

It seems districts 1, 6, 8 and 9 also vacancies. If you live in one of those districts and you're interested in serving on this board, contact your City Council member's office. If you're not sure which district you live in, you can use the interactive map at:
http://www.cabq.gov/council/council-district-map

This is a great opportunity to have a say in the kinds of cultural activities funded by our tax dollars...  

Views: 213

Tags: association, heights, neighborhood, university

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on February 6, 2012 at 5:23pm

You rock, JS

Comment by JeSais on February 6, 2012 at 5:25pm

thanks Merimee!  you rock too :-)

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on February 6, 2012 at 5:30pm

ha ha--there is a board vacancy in my district, 6, Ray Garduño's turf--tempting

Comment by Amanda Sutton on February 6, 2012 at 9:15pm

The university area just got luckier. Rock on! So, how far does university heights go down Girard? I think I'm in Victory Hills still.

Comment by JeSais on February 6, 2012 at 9:43pm

The neighborhood is Central to Garfield, Yale to Girard...  so yes, Amanda, I think you're in Victory Hills.

Comment by Michelle Meaders on February 7, 2012 at 9:17am

Where is the "202 Silver nee Gilchrist property"?  That address doesn't make sense for the neighborhood.

Comment by JeSais on February 7, 2012 at 9:25am

ooops. That's 202 Cornell  (nee Gilchrist property : the historic house that was just torn down)

Thanks for the correction!  I'll edit the post. 

Comment by BurqueBinder on February 7, 2012 at 11:03pm

JeSais, I think you're going to be a great N.A. leader for University Heights. I really appreciate your efforts.

I'm currently a board member in the Silver Hill neighborhood - bordering you just the west. One issue I've had is that due to the way the neighborhood boundaries are set up, Yale tends to be neglected as a corridor from neighborhood improvement projects (despite being arguably one of the most important corridors in town, considering it connects the airport with UNM). Perhaps as neighborhood associations we can find ways to come together to improve corridors that virtually act as boundaries, such as Yale and Central.  You are welcome to attend our meetings as well - they are held on the second monday of each month at 7:00 pm in the University Heights Community Center on Buena Vista.That invitation goes out to all neighborhood folks, of course:)

I'd love to come to your meeting, especially since I'd be interested in hearing about the Gilchrist lot - hopefully it's a quality proposal. Alas, I'm always busy on Thursday night...

Anyhow, I look forward to hearing neighborhood updates from you!

Comment by JeSais on February 8, 2012 at 9:39am

BB:  I agree with you about the "boundaries" there are always projects that affect adjacent neighborhoods.  I'd love to attend a meeting-- though I am in the middle of finishing up my MFA degree, so I am in the thick of my dissertation until the end of March.  I like the idea about working together to improve the corridors like Yale. Perhaps we can schedule neighborhood cleanups on the same days and can meet on Yale!  

In addition to involving more neighbors, I'd like to improve the dissemination of information within the neighborhood and between us.  Too many people said they were unaware of the Lead Coal project as it started (which is weird since voters approved it, and I knew about it and I don't even watch t.v. news.)  Anyway, thanks for saying hello!  I look forward to meeting you face to face at some point.

Comment by BurqueBinder on February 9, 2012 at 12:06am

Good luck with your dissertation!

Definitely agree about dissemination of information across the area - hope to see you at a meeting post-March:)

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